Can Development Impact Fees Help Mitigate Urban Sprawl? with Gregory S. Burge, Arthur C. Nelson, Julian C. Juergensmeyer, and James C. Nicholas.  Journal of the American Planning Association, Volume 79 (3), 235-248.

What Drives State Tax Reform?, with James Alm and Steven M. Sheffrin. Public Finance Review Volume 34 (4) 443-457 (2017).

Lock-in and Team Effects: Recruiting and Success in College Football Athletics, with Brandli Stitzel. Journal of Sports Economics Volume 18 (4) 376-387 (2017).

Searching for Goldilocks: The Non-linear Spatial Capitalization Effects of Local Public ServicesReal Estate Economics Volume 45 (3) 650-678 (2017).

Getting What We Vote For: A Regression Discontinuity Test of Ballot Initiative OutcomesRegional Science and Urban Economics Volume 64 46-56 (2017).

Working Papers

“What Drives Infrastructure Spending?”, with James Alm.

It is widely believed that basic infrastructure in the United States has been seriously underfunded in recent years, and current political discussions at the local, state, and federal government levels have centered around reinvesting in infrastructure. This paper focuses on one aspect of infrastructure spending, local and state government spending on transportation. We gather 57 years of state-level data from the U.S. Census Bureau Survey of State and Local Governments and the yearly FHWA Highway Statistics publication, in order to track local and state government spending on roads from 1957 to 2013. We first identify how spending on infrastructure has changed over time, demonstrating that infrastructure spending has declined as a percentage of local and state government spending in all states. We also estimate how much local and state governments would be spending on infrastructure if these governments were spending in 2013 the same proportion of their 2013 budgets as they spent in 1957. Finally, we suggest several causal factors that might explain these changes.

“Analyzing the Differential Impact of Mandatory Water Conservation on Water Usage”, with Brandli Stitzel.

As water rights and water usage become an ever more important part of municipalities’ and states’ way of life, government policy becomes more important in understanding what policies can be effective for conserving water usage. One method that has been employed at various times and throughout numerous communities is to restrict outdoor watering to every-other-day. We use a dataset with over 3 million property-month observations during the 2007-2015 period in Norman, Oklahoma to identify whether the periodic implementation of mandatory water restrictions reduces water usage. Our data also allows us to exploit variance in the timing of these water restriction programs. Our findings indicate that this policy does reduce water consumption, but the household individual effect is relatively small; just 3% of total water consumption. In addition, these effects are quite heterogeneous, and largely relegated to higher value homes.

“Effects of Local Public Service Access on Non-Residential Pricing”

This paper attempts to identify the effects of three types of services; fire, police, and hospitals on the price of non-residential land in the state of Florida. Using a 20 year panel of sales, preliminary findings suggest that there exists a great deal of heterogeneity in capitalization effects. This demonstrates that aggregating non-residential structures into a small number of categories when considering capitalization effects may mask a large degree of differential pricing responses.

“The Determinants of Impact Fee Rollbacks in Florida”, with Gregory Burge.

In the aftermath of the 2008 recession, a number of counties in Florida have responded to the housing crisis by reducing or rescinding their impact fee programs. These policy changes have almost always been enacted in a stated effort to restore housing construction rates and prices. This may have a serious impact on local fiscal conditions by causing these counties to collect less future revenues from new development. This paper attempts to identify the determinants of why some counties chose to rollback their impact fee programs, while others kept them in place with little change. We find that contingent upon a recession occurring, the depth and length of the downturn as well as political voting trends have little effect on impact fee rollbacks. Instead, counties where impact fee rates were actively managed at a higher frequency were more willing to them back after the recession began. This has a strong implication for county planning and development departments as they generally have little control over rollbacks, but do tend to have some sway over the frequency of impact fee rate management.

“Do Local Fiscal Overrides Translate into Home Prices?”

“Building Size and Impact Fee Cutoffs in Florida” with Gregory Burge.

Preliminary Research

“Income Surtax Variation and School District Expenditures”, with James Alm.